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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 21, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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as standing on the wrong side of history. the president did the right thing, siding with the yearning of the young people for empowerment, for dignity, for democratic reform. i think we should not be behind the curve when it comes to libya. >> exactly right. with ee we've got to leaf it rigve it r there. we've got to be on the side of the protesters again here. thanks for watching. "hardball" starts right now. > what side are you on? let's play "hardball". good evening i'm chris matthews. in new york here on washington's birthday. leading off tonight revenge of the nerds. once again republicans grabbed power and are standing charge with vast overreaches they try to punish their enemies and reward their friend. over the past week republicans
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in washington and wisconsin have tried to cut programs for the poor, killed big labor and perhaps slammed the door on government itself. the same thing happened when republicans game roaring in after world war ii and of course in the middle of the clinton administration. first wisconsin. where thousands have gathered for days. the debate is not just about the current budget deficit. the unions have agreed to make concessions on benefits and pensions. it's also about governor scott walker's attempt to bust the public employees union out there the union that posed his election last move to. unions are making a stand to widely paraphrase frank sinatra if republicans can break unions in wisconsin they can break them anywhere. in washington republicans passed deep cuts in primarily programs for the poor. what they are doing is inviting yet another government shutdown, in the hopes that this time the public might be behind them. who wins if there is another government shutdown and who do you think loses? meanwhile across the ocean, the
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revolution in libya is spreading. capital city of tripoli is descending into chaos and reports that helicopters, war planes and african militia men are being used to crush the protesters. hundreds have died. some of libya's ambassadors have resigned around the world and believe it or not, moammar gadha gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown. let me finish tonight with what the battle in wisconsin is about. let's bring in wisconsin. let's begin there. we're joined by two state senators. tim carpenter is a democrat that fled the capital and the state. i want to start with tim carpenter. are you on the radio or the telephone. >> i'm actually here live on the tv camera. >> good. i can't see you. i know you are there. senator thanks for joining us. leapt me ask you about this. why do you think this fight is going on? what is this fight really about
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in your state? >> well, this is a historic right to stand up for working people in the state of wisconsin. we were the state, first state in the nation to have collective bargaining and for us to go back to the middle ages of treating workers is just absurd. >> you seem to be in a hotel room. i don't want to say where it is. who was the first person to tell you we got to get out of the state? >> by the way there is no god. you're wasting your time with that story -- >> well i don't remember who was the first one but all i can say is from my motel room i can see wisconsin. >> but you won't tell me who gave the idea to leave the state. of your own volition you came up with the idea i have to get out of the state so i don't get counted. >> well, it's been so dictatorial with our governor. we can pass this bill to deal with the state's finances without this nonfiscal item in the budget that devastates worker's rights so we would be back tomorrow. no, it's fun being in bears land, i'm a packers fan and
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would like to settle this but the governor is stonewall walker. won't talk to any of us. and has a temper tantrum that he wants it his way or the highway. >> let me go to the republican. why does the governor pick on the unions that doesn't endorse him, but gives a free ride to the firefighters and the cops who did. why are they allowed to continue to negotiate collectively? >> well one more time you're completely uninformed. the unions have campaigned against republicans and state police have campaigned against republicans. governor walker is doing this out of financial necessity. and out of financial necessity the state with a $3 billion budget deficit has to do something. governor walker as well as the city's, counties and schools
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which all rely on state money can either lay people off or everybody take a mild reduction in take home pay. what myself with a mild reduction in take home pay is part of that. >> you said mild. once again i'm wildly wrong on the facts. you're telling me that there aren't local affiliates, there aren't local union organizations at the county level municipal level that didn't endorse your governor candidate when he ran? are you saying they didn't endorse him? >> i can think of two small locals. the vast majority, the wisconsin professional police association, the vast majority of firemen's union worked against walker in this campaign and to say otherwise is completely to mislead your listening audience. >> why is he singling them out for protection? >> well we need protection in case we have a situation like we did last week in which we had a raucous crowd. inform case people walk away from the prisons.
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that was why governor walker exempted them. >> in other words, they will have collective bargaining rights but the other unions won't? >> that's right. i want to point out collective bargaining rights are very fiscally oriented. if you want to have an efficient school district and an efficient county and efficient city, if you want to pull your workers in a more efficient fashion you cannot every time have to go to the union. >> let's go to the other senator. let's go the democratic senator. tim carpenter is somewhere in illinois. you don't have to tell me. it's bears country, so i assume that's illinois. how long is this going to go on? how long can you stay in illinois collecting your pay as a member of the state senate out there and not report for duty, if you will, in the state capital? capitol? how long can you morally do this? can you do it forever? >> we'll do it as long as it's necessary that the governor and senators come to their sense. i'm dealing with thousands of
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emails, contacting my constituents on my iphone. not to plug a commercial, but i'm in touch with my constituents and know exactly what's going on. i'm working probably ten times harder than the republicans were this past weekend. and i think the bottom line is we actually had a group, a law enforcement group that supported governor walker, one of the few of them to come out and reject the endorsement or take it back. so, it kind of tells you about the politics in the state of wisconsin. >> so senator carpenter is not right when he told me i was all wet in saying some of these municipal firefighting unions and police unions endorsed him. that's not the case? >> i'm sorry. >> senator carpenter. i'm sorry. the senator was wrong when he says he's denying that he was
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favoring the unions that backed him? >> absolutely. >> the senator and governor has gone ahead and been leading a misinformation campaign. distorting facts a lot on issues and it's very frustrating. the governor has had endorsements pulled back from him because of his stance on a lot of issues. he sold people a bill of goods when he was running for election. >> okay. let me go back to the republican senator. sorry we didn't get to talk there. is there going compromise of a couple of years duration where the unions get suspended in their total rights to bargain collectively for a couple of years while you cool off on this thing rather than permanently denial of a right to collectively bargain across the board. is there a compromise there or not? >> i want to point out we've already had a compromise. there was a compromise in which we heard the workers last wednesday night and on the joint finance committee, we changed this bill different from its original form.
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we have compromised. we cannot cave in all together. >> senator carpenter, unions are willing to give on pensions, co-pay, medical co-pay, as long as they're willing to continue bargain collectively, is that your understanding? senator carpenter? >> that's absolutely correct. i could leave illinois right now and leave this interview and drive to wisconsin and vote on the bill. the governor says we need this fiscal bill to balance our budget to june 30th. this is nonfiscal policy that attacks working people in working conditions so i don't know what world senator grothman is living in button lie -- but the only compromise they've made is with themselves. governor walker will not talk to us. they have basically threatened us. everything imaginable. we're going to do everything possible to stand up for working people. >> so our viewers get the facts right. is that correct that one issue separating your two sides, the
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reason this is going on, you want to get rid of the union's right to negotiate over time, work rules, things like that? >> there are work rules that are very expensive to our cities and schools. and in this fiscal crisis we cannot continue to allow the cities and schools to have no authority over what they ask their employees to do. >> so that's the fight. we know where it stands. over work rules, overtime. other issues of collective bargaining. the republicans will not allow the unions to continue to have those rights to collectively bargain. the democrats who are holding out, are staying outside of the state, insists on the rights of workers to collectively bargain for their work. thank you very much state senators tim carpenter and glenn grothman. shut down showdown. republicans are pushing deep spending cuts, slashing programs for the poor. it may it please lead to another government shutdown. they will shut the doors on government. that didn't work too well for newt gingrich back in '95.
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by the way, this all is probably reminding people of the problem they had with newt the first go-around. who wins and who loses this time around? and are republicans about to overreach again like newt did. you're watching "hardball" from the eye of newt only on msnbc. tr from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro.
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today is george washington birthday. you can call it president's day if you're buying a mattress. a new gallop poll rates which president is best. this is a memory quiz. at number seven the current guy in charge barack obama.
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number six franklin delano roosevelt. then george washington. john kennedy. number three bill clinton. and abraham lincoln at number two. greatest president in history is ronald reagan. keep in mind these are not historian rankings. should insist before anybody participates, please list the presidents and then fix best. don't go with the ones you can remember. like the movie of all time is the one i just went to. we'll be right back. t gets me the tools and research i need to help me make informed decisions. with fidelity, i can invest in stocks, bonds, all at a great price. wow. yeah, wow. ♪ [ male announcer ] fidelity investments. turn here. i thought it was over here... ♪ [car horn honks] our outback always gets us there... ... sometimes it just takes us a little longer to get back. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball". congress pulled an all-nighter on friday night to pass a budget bill that would cut $60 billion in spending. with a few exceptions, it was a party line vote and the cuts themselves look like party line cuts. a lot of them are things that republicans thereof hate, planned parenthood, national endowment for tarts, expenses for the so-called policy czars in the obama administration, the environmental protection agency, and, of course, funding for the implementation of the health care bill. here's dick durbin and lindsey graham on "meet the press." >> if we end up shutting down the government that's an utter failure.
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we can do better. >> the only way we'll shut the government down if our democratic colleagues insists on keeping our federal government large and unsustainable. the democratic house was fired because they spent too much. >> those cuts, by the way, also affect programs that help poor people. we're joined by howard fineman and the eugene robinson from "the washington post". both msnbc political analysts. here are the cuts in effect. this is important. eliminates family and teen pregnancy plants, reduces pell grants. cuts $750 million in food aid for poor, pregnant women and women with small children. we get a sense of these cuts. howard it seems the cuts are brand name things that democrats like obama care about, like the czars that work in the white house. real cuts against people with real needs. >> i think some of the ones you mentioned at first were a lot of amendments put forth.
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basically anything that any listener to npr liked. >> that's right. >> the united nations renovation. everything. but the real guts of it, though, were the program cuts in the basic programs, health and human services, money for the poor. money for the whole social infrastructure that the federal government helps support because they are only dealing with six or seven months in the year these are really sharp cuts in all these basic programs. they didn't really debate that, but that's the core of what's .haing, or what would happen here. >> they also went for some nancy pelosi favorites, too. things with her name all over them. this is sort of a, your old man stuff. this whole fight what do you think about this fight and you being in d.c. all the time and covering it for the post. is this a fight that the republicans are almost guaranteed to lose because in the end they are the ones shutting the door on the government? >> you mean if there's actually
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a government shutdown. i'm not sure there's any guarantee on who wins and who loses. it's not written that this has to work out exactly like 1995. i think if there is a shutdown the democrats seem more flexible, more reasonable on these issues. the republicans are more dogmatic. the democrats have a tougher story, more nuance story to tell. we care about the deficit but it's not time to do anything about it right now. we do not live in an age of nuance. so i'm not sure how this will come out. >> you're right. i think that might be the case. howard, the chris christie machine, all about cut now, do it now, even though we're still in a recession, right? is that still the action? find places to cut and do it now. >> yes. he was very smart in part to go after things that weren't done yet, that like that tunnel to
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manhattan. that was a brilliant stroke on his part because people could understand that and also they wouldn't immediately suffer as a result of it. but a couple of things here. first of all, on the down side for president obama and the democrats, john boehner is not newt gingrich. he's not the ego guy that newt was. newt managed to make it about him. i don't think boehner is going to make that mistake. i'm not sure that barack obama is quite as good at survivalist maneuvering, the hand to hand combat as bill clinton was back when newt was around. but on the other hand, there are those 87 or so tea party people in the house on the republican side and they are so ideologically driven that they might make the mistake of standing up and cheering if the government is shut down. if they do that then they are leaving themselves open for the same thing to say oh, we're not going pay the troops, you won't get your social security check. look at these tea party people cheering the shut down of the government. that's what the republicans need
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to watch out for. >> good point. i want to go through the issues of things that would happen. no benefit checks for some veterans. no social security applications can come in. no new passports. no new unemployment statistics. no national parks and museums. i don't think they cut as many people. you start talking about checks. let's get back to the personality stuff. bill clinton was this big guy this almost teddy bear guy against this grinch and evil looking guy newt gingrich. it was easy to pick your nice guy against the villain. this time you have boehner who looks like he hates having to do this. he looks miserable, like he's being pushed around by the tea party people, against a very cool president who has a hard time expressing empathy. >> boehner can do cool too. he can do that vegas cool vibe that he gives off. it's not the quite unequal visual battle that we had in '95. it's a different era. people's concern of the deficit
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is a different magnitude than it was back then. if i had to guess, i would say this is probably favors the democrats if they go ahead and do it but i'm not at all sure. >> will we get a rodney dangerfield out of borne. he's like moving his neck around try to get that collar loosened up. he does some cuff flashing. is he going to look too slick. gene suggests he might come off as slick. >> politics is a game of comparison. we're comparing him with newt from '95. i wouldn't go too far on that. i think the thing that really helps the democrats here, in addition to the possibility that the tea party people will celebrate a government shutdown is the fact that in polling, the american people think that it's easy to cut -- you know, they say they want to cut the budget, but they also don't want social programs touched. and they like to have a high regard for the american military, they love their social
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security checks. so they don't think that -- even though they talk a great game about being concerned about the deficit they really aren't willing to give up anything that they have so that if the government shuts down they are going to probably be more inclined to blame the republicans than the democrats i would think. >> everybody says cut the fat. i can see christie saying cut the fat. all this stuff about, you know, -- sorry. no, i'm not. let's stop the safety regulations of the airlines. let's stop being so safe in the air. let's stop being so safe with our food and drugs. we can cut those guys out. isn't that when the public says wait a minute we need that stuff? >> the public does say that. the problem really comes from the republicans when you get into middle class programs. the things that middle class voters care about. i think unfortunately that it doesn't really go down to their discredit as much when you're
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just dealing with definitely needed programs for poor people. >> here's a thought. who announces that the government has shut down, howard? who makes the statement, you won't be getting your check. you were doing this analysis, this mechanical analysis a couple of days ago. the checks are not going out for social security. who puts out the word? i'm sorry when you go to your mail box or check your bank account it won't be there. my name is speaker borne, my name is president obama. >> no the administration will say that. i think. they are already saying. they are already putting out the word that, you know, if there's a shut down, the social security staff will not be able to do their work and there's a bunch of social security checks like millions of them, 10 million will go out a few days after the shutdown if there is one on march 4th. the administration will top of their chagrin and regret have to inform everybody that because of the recent unpleasantness here
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in washington we were unable -- we wanted to send out your checks, we're all ready to send out your checks but they wouldn't let us. >> you said the smartest thing -- >> we had to shut down the washington monument. >> gene, don't you agree howard's smart assessment if they get tv pictures which is the way people communicate still, people hoot and holler on the house floor when they shut down the government. the tea party people. gene? is howard a genius? come on, tell me howard is a genius tonight. >> i can sure you boehner and cantor and those guys are aware of the optics and they'll be telling their people, look, we've got to have a single message here. we have to see it's the president's fault. it's the intransjens of the democrats. a lot of that will be true, but i'm just saying inherently as libertarians, as people who distrust the federal government, there will be a certain almost
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impossible to hide glee among some of these people for the fact that they were able to, you know, put a stick in the spokes of the wheels of the government because that's what they're out to do to some extent, to make a point. >> they've met with members of the rank-and-file to talk about the optics of a shutdown. >> i'm a little worried now, gene, because you make me think they may win fight with the shutdown. you made me think about this. it hurts. it hurts to think this hard. but you made me think hard. howard fineman predicting the future is tough. eugene robinson thank you. up next, donald rumsfeld stopped making the claims he knew to be true, but he's repeating a familiar talking point about president obama. he's at it again. check out the side show coming up. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪
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back to "hardball". now to the side show. the man who ramrodded the war in iraq has come out and blasted what president obama has done for america's global image. here's don rumsfeld on cnn yesterday. >> do you think that the u.s. is now looked at much differently than it was and much more positively than it was during your tenure? >> no. i don't think there's data that supports that. he made a practice ever trying to apologize for america. i'm personality proud of america. >> some think that's why he got the nobel prize. >> he's not accomplished a thing when he got the nobel prize. it was given to him on hope. had to have been. there wasn't anything he had done. he had been in office 15 minutes. >> actually ironically and weirdly rumsfield is right. on that last point, president obama won the nobel prize on hope.
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the committee awarded him on the promise of something different than eight years of george bush foreign policy that brought us that war in iraq. congresswoman michele bachmann echoed rumsfeld's criticism. wait until you hear what she says to a conservative crowd. it's hard for me to threat. listen to her words. quote our peace prize-winning president is very busy bowing these days to kings. i don't think which kings. he is bending down to dictators and here's her words, he's brown nosing the elites that are in europe and babying the jihadists who are promoting shar sharia-compliant terrorism. who is writing this? next up northern exposure, a leaked unfinished manuscript from her top aide. palin isn't that interested in
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governing, never was. the manuscript opens with an account of palin sending bailey a message saying i hate this damn job. shortly before she resigned as governor of alaska halfway through thermometer. i don't think the ex-governor is running for anything based on all the evidence. for tonight's big number. gallop came down with a breakdown of states as red, blue or competitive. the bad news for democrats it's pretty bad. how fewer reliable blue states there are. 16. rough road ahead for democrats this cycle coming up in 2012. 16 fewer dyed in the wool blue states. up next deadly protests in libya where moammar gadhafi that bad guy has turned fighter jets on his own people, no surprise. what a bad leader he is, in a last-ditch effort to hold on so power. will gadhafi, an unstable menace at best, be the next arab dictator to go down the toilet? you're watching "hardball." only on msnbc.
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i'm page hopkins. moammar gadhafi's son is denying that airplanes are targeting protesters. this after two officials fled refusing orders to fire on protesters. yet another winter storm is moving to the east after dumping up a foot of fresh snow in the midwest. and the mother of zahra baker is being charged with her death.
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and the long delayed final shuttle launch is now scheduled for thursday afternoon. we're going to take you right back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball". what may be the most fascinating story of our times the revolution sweeping the middle east has taken hold in libya where moammar gadhafi has unleashed a bloody crackdown. more than 200 protesters have been killed and the scene in the capital city of tripoli is deteriorating by thundershower. war planes have been firing on demonstrators at an remarkable break with their own government. nine diplomats have resigned and call eed for gadhafi to resign. his own diplomats are calling
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for him to quit. robin, i respect you so much. here's the question. gadhafi has hit me as a looney tune. he's looking at something up in the air all the time. there's something going up there. we thought saif gadhafi was a sane reformer. now 1:00 this morning has called on the people to stop protesting or else they will fire on them to the last bullet. it doesn't sound like a sane commentary from the son, the reformer. your thoughts. >> no. one of the things that's been a striking pattern of all the turmoil in the middle east is the fact that towards the end of the crises you finally see the emergence of either leader or a spokesman for the leader trying
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to talk about reform, talking about reconciliation, dealing with the grievances. but saif's speech last night was among the most incoherent we've seen region. he talked about a new national anthem, new flag. general reforms. it was a disjointed thing where he wagged his finger at his own population. it signaled how vulnerable this regime is. gadhafi has been in power 42 years longer than any of the other old leaders. and he's often been the most unstable. this is a man who is linked with the downing of pan am 103. he's been a thorn in the side of both his arab colleagues and african leaders and one leader in the region that many of his peers will welcome if he leaves. >> let me go to ahmed on this. how does he stand among the arab leaders. does he still got street credit if you will after all this 40 years of rule? >> well, as robin said just a little while ago, he's a pain in the neck of many of his arab counterparts and african
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counterparts and i think he's stayed that way until the last minute and he continues to be. what was amaze about the speech yesterday by his son, saif, a lot of people are wondering who is this guy? who is saif? saif is part of the problem. one of the reasons why libyans are protesting now is they do not want saif to inherit power from his father. what does his father do? he sends the son out. >> that seems to be the reason why, what might be the final straw on the donkeys back. unless you move now when the guy is old and the skipped hasn't taken over you won't break this chain. is that what's going on in this country and perhaps happened in egypt beforehand? >> i think the son emerging from all this and given the number of casualties that are being
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reported given the number of dead that have been reported over the last few days, it seems to me that gadhafi and his son, his sons i should say because he has more than one. they have very little space to maneuver now. the speech yesterday set it off. it reminded me of mario cuomo saying you campaign in verse and you govern in prose. what the speech did yesterday, especially given all the prose that was written by those young egyptians in tahrir square that was such a contrast because the speech yesterday was written in blood. >> let me go back to robin. we had a terrible history with this guy. we tie him in many of us to the gulf of sidra incident, to lockerbie. he's willing to call someone up kill some civilians. it's fine with me. we had the berlin disco incident.
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reagan punished him with strikes that killed his daughter. most americans think of him as a guy who came in from the cold who cut the deal to get back in the oil business. >> in part. after all he faced stringent economic sanctions and this is an economy that depends very largely on oil exports. he needed the international community and so he in the end made compromises. but he didn't change his practices domestically. he did with his dealings with the international community by cooperating on exchange of information or intelligence on terrorists and extremist moments in the region by giving up his weapons of mass destruction programs. but at homes he was at ruthless as always. this has been the enormous gap and real challenge for the international community. how do you deal with a guy. how do you justify dealing with a man who is so oppressive of his own people and who is trying to create a dynasty.
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one of the messages out of all of these upheavals we're seeing a transition not just from one man to a new government but from elites that dominated for thousands of years. >> it seems a couple of things have happened here that never happened before. you got a whole bunch of ambassadors calling for his resignation. you have resignation from the gadhafi ambassador. i assume hand picked to china, to india, all resigned. you got two colonels who went to malta and defected who were pilots. this is the kind of stuff as it makes its way around the islamic air waves what will people say this says about gadhafi that his own people he's invested faith in are walking on him? >> i think when gadhafi was engaged in direct confrontation with the united states which the attack under reagan, he had a lot of support in the arab world.
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>> yes. >> but i think since then his support has receded and more recently more people in the arab and islamic world have come to see him as a -- figure. given the shock toll we've heard coming out of libya, the shockwaves is going far and wide in the arab world and the muslim world and even if he survives and i think it's a big if, even if he survives i think the lead cloud over what he's done to his own people will hang over his head for a long time to come not just inside libya but also in the arab and muslim worlds. >> i'm so impressed by the fact that al qaeda hates democracy. because that means we should like it. just a thought. your thought. >> well i think one of the things that's so striking about the upheavals we've seen if they have not only discredited autocratic leaders but discredited extremists.
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they used peaceful civil disobedience and while al qaeda leaders have been hiding along the border of pakistan and afghanistan for a decade it took 18 days for civil disobedience to bring down hosni mubarak. we're seeing this theme being repeated across the region. al qaeda seems more passe and outdated in both its goals and tactics than ever. >> it seems the east is moving at the speed of the west politically, even faster than the west. these changes are so much faster than we're used to even in our part of the world. thank you so much. >> up nekts next, how did bill clinton win when the republicans wanted to shut down the government. he came out ahead. there he is chuckling. you get your enemy to chuckle while you destroy him. that's pretty good politics. we'll talk how clinton did it. barack obama may not be able to do it against a guy who is different in personality. he's not has hateable as that guy. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. of oats, raisin medley. there's nothing like it!
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we'll be right back with more. we'll talk about bill clinton and how he handled the incredible fight over the government shutdown back in '95 and how he came out ahead to the point he got a big re-election out of it. we'll be right back in a minute.
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we're back. the big documentary bill clinton "president of the world" airs tonight. i can't wait. 10:00 eastern right here on msnbc. our biggest production yet. what can be learned from the clinton presidency in the meantime? a lot. let's look at the big battle
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over the big budget shutdown in '95. could we see another government shutdown in two weeks? i'm joined by two experts deedee myers. somehow bill clinton who we honor tonight, we put the focus on. i think there's a lot of honor in this documentary. it seems he had a style that was able to work a newt gingrich type. newt is a grinch type of person, he's nasty, tough. clinton is a big lover of people. he seemed to put his arm around newt and take him down in that government shutdown. how did he do it? >> i think one of the things that a lot of republican leaders in clinton's adversaries at that time said was don't get in a room alone with him because he's so charming, he'll have you agreeing with him in a short peer i don't find of time. speaker gingrich thought he would be immune to clinton's charms and he wasn't. clinton really was interested in
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working with the republicans in congress to get something done to deal with the budget situation, but he was also going to try to outplay him and he did. >> and your thoughts, after running that great biography. you call him the great survivor. we thought the democrat would take the hit. somehow he made the republicans pay for it, the spending problem, the shutdown problem that resulted from it. from it. >> chris, if i could go back to 1995, before the shut down, it was not obvious, not to republicans, not to democrats, not even to clinton himself and the people around him that the shut down would balance in clinton's favor. that was a big question. heading into that, it wasn't obvious. it was only in real time when the polling came in after the shut down began that it became obvious. this was a very, very dramatic moment. clinton spent the better part of 1995 gradually moving in the direction of republicans, saying yes, i do, agree with a balanced budget, but it was only in the fall where he said look, i agree
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with the balanced budget but i won't agree to your plans that the clie mack particular show down came. just because it worked that way last time doesn't mean it works that way this time in the president's favor. >> but that's the point i am getting to. seems like jack lew and the president are trying to replicate what happened in ththe the '90s. they take the heat. they go down as the ones that cut the budget, paid the price. >> well, i mean, that's what both sides are trying to do to a certain degree, position themselves as the reasonable ones, the ones doing the public's will. i think john makes a good point that it wasn't clear at all going into '95 and through most of the days and weeks leading up to it who would win. i think democrats, i don't think just the white house, also democrats on the hill who sort of think will this get the republicans to shut the
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government down and that's how we'll win this battle. i think that's the point you're trying to make. you have to position yourself so it looks like the other side's fault, that you're the reasonable ones. i don't think it is clear what the public thinks. it was just saturday night that the republicans passed this budget with $60 billion in cuts, and i don't think we know how the public feels about that yet. >> 4:30 in the morning, believe it or not. here is a clip from my interview on his relationship with george herbert walker bush. here is the charm factor dee dee was talking about. >> in 2004, a tsunami devastates southeast asia. in a moment of worst case horror, lives and lively hoods are swept away. a tragedy like this requires a massive relief effort. and the face of the american response must be a statesman of stature. he appoints two former presidents to the task, his father and bill clinton. together the two of it take to
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it with gusto. >> what did you think about that relationship. it is haroldeheralded now. >> i didn't have any problem with the political differences we had. 1993, the governors met in maine, and vice president bush hosted us. my daughter who just turned three years old, he said hello and she said where's the bathroom. and he took her by the hand and walked her to the bathroom. >> how are you, you beautiful girl. >> our politics are very different. our life experiences are very different. but at the core, he is a very good man. >> how can anybody not want to watch tonight. john harris, you are in it. you played a big role in our
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understanding of the guy. tell me how this all works. i just got to jump ahead to the doc. his president see ended on 63% popularity when he went out of office. with the problems, still ended positively for him. then doing this sort of not a victory lap but whole new chapter in his life. did you see that coming that he would have the juice to spend another decade in public service around the world? >> well, he left the president see as a young man, so he had to do something. people were around clinton when the presidency ended. the last days were on a terrible note with the mark rich pardon. a lot of people said without the focus and discipline of the presidency, he will squander his opportunities. he has had focus in his express den see. >> she will love it tonight. >> can't wait. >> thank you very much. president of the world -- >> the popcorn is cooking.
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let me finish tonight with the war over government spending that grows more serious each
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day. has battles running across the country in a widening wave of you are our capitols. the reason is simple. economic fact of scarce resources and competing ends. people don't want to pay higher taxes. something has to give. if you can't buy goods cheaper than market price, you have to find labor at cheaper price. obama froze federal wages. they are looking to lower the cost of wages in state government. the facts are the facts. they explain the fight. they don't tell you who will win. through all the words and positioning, this is a battle between people that work for government and outside government. republicans bet there are more of the second, more that don't work for government, don't want to pay for those that do. republicans, the business world concerns in general putting the squeeze on. there's a fundamental difference between the two

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